Enjoy spectacular views of Gran Canaria from the top of this large and iconic rock, and Natural Monument, in the center of the island. Roque Nublo stands at 80 meters tall, 1,813 meters above sea level, and is an icon of Gran Canaria. Far from being just the domain of mountaineers and serious hikers, this rock is accessible for all. The name itself translates to "Cloud Rock" for the simple reason that it is often engulfed in clouds, but there's still a good chance of getting a clear view from the top once you're up there.
A symbol of Gran Canaria
This geographical landmark has inspired many painters, writers, and composers. It has appeared in a multitude of works, including Néstor Álamo's "Lyrical Lunar Stone" and "Altar of my Mystic Land." Modern geologists have identified it as a special type of volcanic rock and call it the "Roque Nublo Gash." This gash is the result of the hardening of burning ash clouds following its formation and later cooling off. This unique feature has a volcanic cycle named after it; the second great volcanic cycle in Gran Canaria is called the Roque Nublo cycle and covers a period of nearly two million years from 5.3 to 3.4 million years ago. The Roque Nublo has always been a destination for Canarian pilgrims, and is an important part of the island's deep-rooted culture. An ancient place of worship for the aborigines, it was declared a Protected Natural Space in 1987 and a Rural Park seven years later.
A pleasant climb
The Roque Nublo is popular with mountaineers since a German team climbed its summit for the first time back in 1932. However, the general public can also make their way to the top in around 15 minutes. Start your journey from the La Goleta car park, which is on the road in between San Bartolome de Tirajana and Tejed. Once you're there, you'll be amazed at how big the rock is, perched on the edge of the mountains in Nublo Rural Park. From the car park, you can follow the fairly steep track which takes you to the top in about 15 minutes. The surrounding vegetation is recently replanted pine wood, alongside brush and scrubland native to the area, such as scotch broom and sage. Once you're at the top, you'll be treated to panoramic views all around you. Take a while to absorb this stunning vista before continuing on your way. Hikers have the option of seeing more spectacular natural landmarks in the area, such as el Roque de El Fraile, the great dams of Las Niñas, Chira and Soria, and the towns of Artenara and Acusa, on an approximately 5 km trail.